Our purpose and goal in this life should be please Allah SWT, and to earn His love, and avoid His wrath. InshAllah our goal should be to keep striving to become among those whom Allah loves, and to have the characteristics of the one He Azza Wajal loves. And we should avoid all the characteristics of the ones that Allah detests, dislikes or hates. And Alhamdulillah, Qur'an gives us endless guidance to nourish this purpose.
1. Al-Muhsinoon (the good doers). Allah SWT says:
وَأَنفِقُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تُلْقُواْ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ وَأَحْسِنُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
And spend in the cause of Allah and do not throw yourselves into destruction, and do good. Truly, Allah loves Al-Muhsinin (those who do good). [Surah Al-Baqara: 195)
The word "Muhsin" comes from the word "Ihsaaan" (Superlative of Hassan) which means Excellence in religion, in faith etc. Our Prophet Sallallahyu alihiwassalam was the best Muhsin, followed by the righteous Sahabah Radhiyallahu anhum. For us to attain this excellence in religion, in ibadah, faith, in character etc, we have to work hard with perseverance and be "Isthiqaama" (Steadfast). We have to set high goals like having the best men and women as our role models (The Prophet, Sahabahs and the rightly guided scholars).
2. At-Tawwaaboon and Al-Mutatahhiroon. Allah says:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَبِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ
Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves. [Surah Al-Baqara: 222]
We should keep doing "Tawbah" to Allah SWT, even if we repeat the same sins again. With repentance, you feel closer to Allah each time, and at one point, inshAllah we will get rid of the act of sinning. That does not mean that one can feel free to keep sinning as long as he repents later. True repentance is when we seek forgiveness out of fear of the Hell-fire, and abstain ourselves from the act again. Allah loves the one who seeks repentance as the one who does it is admitting with his heart that Allah is The Most Merciful One. He is pleading to His Lord, The King of all that He has created.
Seeking repentance also purifies oneself. And Allah loves those who purify themselves. Purification is being free from physical impurities (impurities that invalidate Ibadah- Najas), spiritual impurities like diseases of heart and soul like greed, lack of trust in Allah SWT, envy, hatred for your brother, arrogance etc.
The physical purification is the two ritual purification: Wudu' (ablution) and Ghusl (ritual bath). Our clothes and surroundings like the place we perform Salah, our bed etc should be free from ritual impurities. Spending in the way of Allah, in charity (both obligatory Zakah and Sadaqah) purifies our wealth and our hearts and souls, and Allah puts more Blessings in it, for us. Doing good deeds and constant dhikr (remembrance of Allah) also purifies us spiritually.
3. Al-Muttaqoon (the pious). Allah says:
بَلَى مَنْ أَوْفَى بِعَهْدِهِ وَاتَّقَى فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَّقِينَ
Yes, whoever fulfills his pledge and fears Allah much; verily, then Allah loves the Muttaqin (the pious). [Surah Aal Imran: 76]
The command of Allah SWT "Ittaqaa" means to fear Allah and thus obey Him, and adhere to the teachings of Prophet Sallallahu alihiwassalam, fearing the Hereafter. Whoever avoids Allah's prohibitions, obeys Him and adheres to the Shari`ah that He sent with His Final Messenger and the master of all mankind, is the Muttaq, whom Allah loves. And Allah has prepared Paradise for The Muttaqoon. Oh Allah, Increase us in Taqwa, and make us among us the Muttaqeen!
4. As-Sabiroon (the patient ones). Allah SWT says:
وَكَأَيِّن مِّن نَّبِىٍّ قَاتَلَ مَعَهُ رِبِّيُّونَ كَثِيرٌ فَمَا وَهَنُواْ لِمَآ أَصَابَهُمْ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَمَا ضَعُفُواْ وَمَا اسْتَكَانُواْ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الصَّـبِرِينَ
And many a Prophet fought and along with him many thousands(patient, pious scholars). But they never lost heart for that which befall them in Allah's way, nor did nor they weaken nor degrade themselves. And Allah loves the patient. [Surah Aal Imran: 146]
Patience is a very important virtue that we seriously need to work on. All the Prophets possessed this gem of a virtue, and they were able to succeed in every trial and test they had to face in this world. We should remember that our lives can never be as challenging as theirs, and if they were able to be patient, so can we. Whenever we have difficult times, we should find solace and comfort in becoming closer to Allah SWT, and seeking forgiveness for our sins. Allah expiates our sins when we have difficult times and if we be patient with it.
We should never lose heart, feel that Allah is humiliating us, revert to misguidance from guidance at times of trials. Our Emaan should not weaken, instead become strong, and believe that the trials are a blessing in disguise. Allah SWT tests us with good things and difficult times.
5. Al-Mutawakkiloon (the ones who put their trust in Allah). Allah Azza Wajal says:
فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ
Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him). [Surah Aal Imran: 159]
The believer puts his complete trust in Allah Alone. Allah facilitates what is best for us. So, we take a decision that will not cause displeasure of Allah, and then we "tawakkul" (put trust) unto Him Azza Wajal. If Allah helps us, nothing can overcome that, and all victory is except from Allah: this is the attitude of a believer. Wouldn't you love people to trust you, especially your loved ones like spouse, kids, parents etc? So what about the One who deserves all our trust, The One who created us, provided for us, The Sustainer, the One who takes care of all our affairs, and has control over all matters!
6. Al-Muqsitoon (those who act justly). Allah says:
وَإِنْ حَكَمْتَ فَاحْكُم بَيْنَهُم بِالْقِسْطِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ
And if you judge, judge with justice between them. Verily, Allah loves those who act justly. [Surah Al-Maa'idah: 42]
Allah SWT is The Most Just, and He loves us also to be just. When we judge, we should do so by what Allah has revealed in The Qur'an. We should not decide according to our love for the person etc. Even if we have to be against ourselves or our loved ones, justice should prevail. In Islam, Justice is the foundation of Sharia'h (Islamic Law). We have our code of law (the sharia'h in Islam) for the preservation of human rights, and so we should practise the foundation on which it is built on.
7. Those who fight in the cause of Allah, in rows as one solid structure (the Straight Line): this is as Allah SWT says:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ صَفًّا كَأَنَّهُم بُنيَانٌ مَّرْصُوصٌ
Verily, Allah loves those who fight in His cause in rows as if they were a solid structure (building firm and compact). [Surah As-Saff: 4]
We should stick to each other, as Muslim brothers and sisters in Islam with firmness and unified, to fight to defend Islam, and work for Islam, and to do da'wah. Our Ummah should be like one body, undivided by our differences. We should not be divided by nationalities, creed, race, color, madhahibs(sects) etc. Allah loves those who fight in His cause, unified.
To read "what Allah does not love", click here